Combining Photo Elements
with Photoshop


For three decades I have used Adobe Photoshop for creating composite photos, but as of late 2019 Photoshop is no longer supported by the Mac operating system. So I have been transitioning to GIMP 2.10, a free, open source application which can do many of the things Photoshop does.

Final graphicThis is the final composite graphic I produced in 2001 for the Fire Service Jeep Toys pages, showing a model Jeep in a real-world background photo.


The foreground element was photographed against a contrasting background which is similar to the color of the final background. I used a VHS video camera, and grabbed a frame from the video.

Foreground transparent

In Photoshop, the foreground element was carefully selected and cut out of the image, and adjusted in size as necessary.

BG photo

The background photo has been scanned in from the original source.

Final graphic

The foreground was pasted into a separate layer on top of the background, so it could be positioned and color-corrected to match.

Details on each layer, such as the firefighter's coat and helmet, can be retouched as necessary.

This tutorial was posted in 2001, but I was still using basically the same approach in 2010 for a Scrambler loading some firewood (280K JPEG) and a Funline Muscle Machines Jeep on a dragstrip (240K JPEG). -- Derek Redmond

See also some more early examples:

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Last updated 31 January 2020 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond